Paris smugglers offering migrants Lidl trucks to get into UK

Media captionSultan, an agent for the people-smugglers in Paris, guarantees “safe passage to the UK”

Illegal migrants are being offered Channel crossings in the back of a Lidl supermarket lorry for thousands of pounds.

BBC South East has found people smugglers who operated in the Calais migrant camp are continuing their activities in daylight in Paris.

An agent for the gang said: “For an Iranian it will not be less than £5,000, but for Afghans it is £3,000.”

Lidl said it had asked it haulier firms to conduct urgent investigations.

In a statement, Lidl said it “does not tolerate the facilitation of people smuggling through its international transport network” and has “robust procedures” in place with its hauliers.

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Relatives or friends of the person who wants to be smuggled are asked to make payment via Sultan’s brother in London

Sultan, an agent for the people-smugglers, told a BBC undercover reporter the migrants were “guaranteed” a safe passage from the French capital.

He said: “They don’t tear the tarpaulin off the vehicles. They open it and place you in.

“They will fit you in a way that even the dogs will not sniff you out.

“You will be in London 100%, this is how it works.”

‘Three people got through last night’

He said the smuggling operation was extensive, quick and guaranteed.

Another man described by Sultan as “an experienced smuggler” said: “I can take you tonight. We try every night.

“Three people got through last night.”

Relatives or friends of the person who wants to be smuggled into the UK are asked to make the payment via Sultan’s brother Sayed, who runs a mobile phone repair shop in London.

Sayed told the BBC the guaranteed service meant the lorry driver would know someone was on board, and he knew of several boys who had recently been successful.

“One of the boys got off the truck in Southall and the other in Kent,” he said.

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Lidl said it does not tolerate people-smuggling

In a statement, Lidl said: “Upon being alerted to this report, we immediately contacted the haulier companies that we work with to ensure that the matter could be urgently investigated and we are still awaiting the conclusions of that investigation.

“Lidl does not tolerate the facilitation of people smuggling through its international transport network.

“We take matters such as these extremely seriously and have robust procedures in place with the hauliers within our own network to safeguard our international logistics.”

The company added that all its hauliers were required to immediately report any matters relating to illegal migration to ensure appropriate investigations were carried out.

Paris smugglers offering migrants Lidl trucks to get into UK

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